First of all, I want to let all the families that were affected by this injustice know that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi cares for you and wants to help in any way that we can and we are partnering with other organizations that are doing the same. I dropped my eight-year-old daughter off at school this morning for her first day of 3rd grade. My two older sons rode the bus. I can’t imagine their horror if they came home to an empty house and had no idea where their parents were or when they may eventually come home.
As a religious leader, I cannot think of anywhere in our holy Scriptures where this sort of thing would be ok. In fact, our Scriptures tell us just the opposite. We are supposed to care for the most vulnerable in our society. As people of faith, that’s how we will respond. Any law of any country or state that contradicts our love commandments, we consider unjust and incompatible with the Kingdom of God. For a state that is so saturated with religion and religious groups—specifically Christians, and even more specific Baptists—these raids should be appalling and reprehensible.
The love of God is not in what happened yesterday. Nobody is safer in Mississippi. Nobody is better off. What happened with these raids devastated hard working families that are trying their best to make it. Now we have 680 families with no income and no way to get income. They are stranded with nothing. What will their children eat? What recourse do they have for anything better.
The United States of America and the State of Mississippi has perpetrated a great injustice and for this immoral and inhumane behavior, I pray for our soul. Leave these people alone. Help them instead of hurt them. Treat them the way you would want to be treated if you were a foreigner in a strange land—or just treat people the way you would want them to treat you. That’s what our Savior, Jesus Christ, told his followers to do. If we claim to be followers of this same Jesus, then, let’s live accordingly. Shame on any public official that thinks this is okay. This is not okay; it’s contradictory to the love of God. God doesn’t take food out of the mouths of children and neither should we. Lord, help us.
Rev. K. Jason Coker, Ph.D.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Mississippi